York College Serves as COVID-19 Testing Site
In late December, 2021, the college was again contacted to serve the Southeast Queens community by hosting a site in the fight against COVID-19, just as it had hosted a vaccination site in the spring 2021 semester for the same battle. From February to July 2021, the site administered more than 250,000 vaccinations, at the FEMA-managed site in the college’s Health and Physical Education Complex (HPEC). This latest site was announced by Governor Cathy Hochul and is housed in the college’s [Milton G. Bassin] Performing Arts Center.
The York location is part of 13 additional ones across the state that were recently announced by the governor. She promised to keep opening sites as needed throughout the state. The York site is being administered by BioReference Laboratories.
“York College was founded in 1966 to serve the higher education needs of this community,” says Dr. Berenecea Johnson Eanes, president of York College. “But it was also brought to Jamaica as an economic development anchor for the area. It has always served the social justice needs of the area as well. I am honored that we are able to provide a convenient location for our neighbors to protect their health during this persistent pandemic.”
President Eanes added that in times of crisis, public higher education facilities are increasingly being called upon to support the needs of impacted communities. In 2012 York College served as a shelter for nearly 1000 residents from the Howard Beach and Far Rockaway areas, displaced by the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. The college remains on call for any further such crises.
“It is encouraging to see the long lines of eager residents taking advantage of the opportunity to protect themselves, their families and neighbors by getting tested,” says President Eanes. “I thank the college community of students, faculty and staff for their grace in sharing our spaces to serve the good of community service, including as an early voting site during primary and general elections.”